Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Eighteen Months

Dear Annelise,

How is it that another six months have flown by since your first birthday and you are now a year and a half old?!?  There are some days where each day feels about a week long and I count down the seconds until it is time for you to go to bed.  Then, there are days that fly by faster than my eyes can blink and I can't believe that I'm already getting you ready for bed again.  I am so amazed at the growing and learning that you have done in these past six months.

Whenever anyone asks about you, I always say that you are a toddler in every sense of the word.  You are sweet, lovable, smart, rambunctious, busy, so many words that it's hard to write them all down.  You also are a challenge some days.  I know that some of our disagreements are because you can't fully communicate to me yet.  Some are just because you want your own way and don't want to listen to what Mommy or Daddy has to say.

I love that I (or Daddy) can ask you for a kiss or a hug and you always turn to give me one.  You are so sweet and affectionate and it warms my heart.  You are also starting to warm up and give those hugs and kisses away willingly to other people too.  Auntie, Nana, GG, and Grandma usually get some love without too much coaxing.  You have started to warm up around others quicker.  You still tuck into me at first, but it doesn't take long for you to come out of your shell and interact with people.

You communicate to us primary through signing.  You know and consistently use "eat", "more", "water", "milk", "please", and "help".  I'm amazed at how quickly you pick up new signs when I teach them to you.  Verbally, you say "mama", "daddy", "bye-bye", and "up".  You say "kkkkki" for kitty.  You understand so much that I say to you, you just can't communicate it yet.  You know all about the animals, and many of their sounds, you just have a hard time mimicking those sounds.  However, you definitely have the growl down!  You growl almost more than any other noise.  It's adorable!  I know that you're trying to talk.  In the past month or two, you have really started to babble a lot.  You look at me and start this string of unrecognizable sounds and noises and I just go along with it and try to have a conversation with you.  You're trying to tell me something.  Eventually it'll be in English!  Ha!

You also know many body parts.  You can point out your head, hair, eyes, nose, ear, tongue, teeth, belly button, knees, and toes.  Some days you very willingly point them out, and other days you ignore me completely when I ask you.  Ahhhh toddlerhood!

You have sprouted all four of your first molars.  You ran a slight fever, but nothing too terrible.  You still just have the very middle bottom teeth; still haven't cut the lateral incisors.  So weird!

I can't believe how much you LOVE to dance!  You are constantly moving, constantly running, constantly on the go.  You will sway side to side, move your hips, wave your arms, turn in circles, and stomp your feet.  Everybody loves to watch you dance.  I hope that you continue loving to dance!

You have discovered that you can climb on top of your activity table and it will make you taller so that you can see things.  I would say that this is your new favorite activity.  You are constantly hauling that table around to different parts of the house so that you can use it to climb up and see things or get into things that you shouldn't.  It's safe to say that not much is safe from you anymore!  Most of the time you will leave things alone when I tell you.  However, you love to run into the bathroom and get into my drawer and pull all of my stuff out.  If I catch you, you flop onto your belly and start giggling.  It's kind of hard to be mad at you when you do that!

We are still going to Kindermusik classes and you absolutely love going.  This time, all the kids are right around your age, which I think you enjoy more.  I'm also happy that you've started to interact a lot more in class.  You run to grab the instruments and you will actually dance and move around now.  Sometimes, you'll even participate without me having to carry you.

We have had a sad milestone recently.  We stopped breastfeeding.  We went a little over 17 months.  I am seriously so happy, blessed, honored, humbled, and overjoyed that we were able to go so long and not have any issues.  I'm so proud of us!  At the time when we stopped, you were only nursing in the mornings, and it wasn't for very long at all.  Once I decided to stop, you still asked for it, but you were okay with not nursing as long as you were fed breakfast right away.  You only really cried once, but once I sat you down for breakfast, you forgot all about it.

Some friends of Mommy and Daddy's had a baby at the end of August and they came over to get her pictures done.  You absolutely loved that baby and insisted on holding her and being right next to her the whole time.  A couple of weeks later, we went to their house to drop off the pictures and hang out and you, again, loved being around the baby.  The baby wasn't so crazy about you, but her crying didn't seem to phase you.  You just wanted to hold her.  You cried once I took her away so that she could be comforted and stop crying.  I loved that you wanted to hold the baby and love on her.  I think that you'll be a great big sister.  You also didn't seem to mind when I had the baby.  Now, of course, I'm anxious to give you a sibling.  I know that that will come in time.  But, I think that you'll be a great big sister when the time comes.

You have started to express an interest in the potty.  You want to sit on the toilet, and you say "pee pee", but I don't know if you actually connect the two yet.  I let you sit on the toilet, but nothing has happened yet.  I'm not really expecting it to.  But, I am excited that you have started to express an interest.

You are 25 lbs 3 oz, and 32.5 inches tall.  You wore 18 month clothes this summer and will be wearing 24 month this fall/winter.  You wear a size 4 diaper.

Little lady, sometimes I can't believe how much love I have for you.   I always struggle with wanting you to grow up faster and slow down growing up.  I love looking forward to each with you and you always surprise me with something new.  I love you so much!

Love forever,

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